Eat Happy Blog

Sweet Corn and Polenta Fritters

Sweet Corn and Polenta Fritters Summer sweet corn, polenta, peppers and scallions combine to make a sweet and savory dinner treat

Sweet corn in the summer is the best.  Most of the time I simply steam it and slather on a little butter and sea salt and I am one happy camper.  When I want to make sweet corn the centerpiece of a delicious but simple dinner, I’ll make some form of a corn fritter.  I’ve made corn and zucchini fritters, corn and pepper fritters, and straight up corn fritters.  Usually I use some form of flour or breadcrumb to bind them (gluten free in my case), but this time I thought, why not use polenta?  I gave it a try and voila, my favorite corn fritter yet: Sweet Corn and Polenta Fritters.

It makes perfect sense, I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it before!  Really the only tricky thing about fritters is getting them to stick together through the first flip, and making them gluten free adds just a hint more of a challenge, especially since I don’t like to use a lot of gf flour.  Polenta is very stable – it even makes a great pizza crust (Polenta Pizza is a staple in my house).  And what could go better with corn, than more corn?  It’s a match made in heaven.

These corn fritters are sweet, savory, and the texture is fantastic.  The polenta gives them heft so they’re filling enough for a main course, and makes the fritter flipping easy peasy.  They’re naturally gluten free, and substituting dairy-free milk or yogurt can make them dairy free as well (just give them a few more minutes [...]

By |August 13th, 2015|Uncategorized|

Purslane Salad with Strawberry and Avocado

Harvested purslane, roots snapped off picked and plopped in a bowl Harvested purslane, roots snapped off, picked and plopped in a bowl

This year we have our largest vegetable garden by far.  Thanks to my husband, our family gardener, we have four separate beds that have been planted with nearly a hundred plants including tomatoes, peas, beans, peppers, kale, cucumbers, lettuce, onions, garlic and herbs.  Sounds impressive, and it is (an heroic effort!), but it’s also a comedy of errors.  As organic gardeners we’ve endured pests a plenty, including cabbage worms, tomato blight, slugs, aphids, and most recently…rabbits.  We’ve sprayed our weight in neem oil, sent our toddlers out to chase the rabbits, and even dumped beneficial ladybugs into the garden.

Some of our efforts have been rewarded nicely; our kale looks awesome, we have green tomatoes on several vines, healthy garlic scapes made delicious pesto, and the kids are happily picking snap peas every day.  Other areas of the garden are a little depressing…the rabbits continue to eat down the carrot tops and swiss chard into little stumps, our strawberry plants failed to actually fruit, and the beans have had to be replanted.  Ah well, you win some you lose some, I guess.  We are still learning, after all.  Still, it is hard to put so much effort into some of these plants, only to have them fail to make something edible.

On the other hand, there is one edible plant in our garden that took no effort at all.  Absolutely none, because it’s a weed – purslane.  We didn’t plant it, didn’t plan for it, and yet it’s thriving in its own little patch of garden paradise.  It is perfectly immune to [...]

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins So good, I don’t even feel bad about giving these for breakfast!

I unapologetically love chocolate.  Especially dark, roasty, not-too-sweet, super-chocolate chocolatey things.  Real cocoa and cocoa-loaded dark chocolate are high in good-for-you antioxidants, so what’s not to love?

These muffins are the perfect balance of substance and indulgence.  Composed mostly of good-for you ingredients (oat flour, eggs, good quality butter, plain yogurt, cocoa powder) with just enough of the less stellar (white or gluten free flour, sugar, chocolate chips) to make them a treat.

My girls are ecstatic when I make these for breakfast or brunch on the weekends, and since they have a solid nutritional foundation, I really don’t feel guilty about it!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

Recipe:  Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

Total Prep Time: 45 hours
Active Time: 15 minutes
Serves:  4

Ingredients

2 cups flour (I use 1/2 cup gluten free flour + 1 ½ cups oat flour)
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
2 eggs
1 ¼ cups plain yogurt or buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chips or a combination of dark and white chips

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare your muffins tins how you like them (non-stick spray or liners, etc).
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients (flour through sugar).
  3. Whisk together wet ingredients, including melted butter, then combine the wet and dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Bake 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For more delicious, nutrient-dense foods that will help you Eat Happy, check out my new book (including 50+ recipes!)

By |June 1st, 2015|Recipes|

Ten Reasons it’s Better to Eat Happy than Diet

Eat Happy: Transform Your Health with Foods You Love is available now for pre-order Eat Happy: Transform Your Health with Foods You Love is available

 

I recently put together this list, 10 reasons it’s better to Eat Happy than diet, for a presentation and thought it’d be fun to share.  Read below, and for more specifics on how to Eat Happy check this out!

This was written for what turned out to be an awesome corporate wellness event – combined nutrition presentation/book signing.  Everyone left with their own copy of the book (wouldn’t you love that?!).

If you work for a company is interested in this kind of event please contact me at alissa@eathappynow.com.

Ten reasons it’s better to Eat Happy than Diet

  1. You get to focus on quality ingredients, which means food tastes better than ever. Diet food tastes ___________.
  2. Cravings will naturally go away – will power not needed!
  3. Non-extreme – no need to eliminate food groups, eliminate or replace meals, or do anything else weird
  4. Better mood. Your mood is significantly affected by what you eat, and if you Eat Happy your mood will be more stable, more uplifted, and less anxious.  Diets tend to do the opposite, making you damn cranky.
  5. Unintended consequences, in a good way. Your primary goal may be to lose weight (or something else), but most people are surprised to have at least one other significant benefit.
  6. You’ll be full…really full. Not only that, at first most people need to consciously put more food on their plates than they’re used to in order to get enough food.
  7. And satisfied. There is a difference between full and satisfied.  Satisfied occurs as a result of a combination of getting enough nutrients, [...]
By |April 23rd, 2015|Cleveland, Events, General|

Honey and Soy Glazed Turbot with Garlic Greens

Soy and Honey Glazed Turbot with Garlic Greens Soy and Honey Glazed Turbot with Garlic Greens

Life moves pretty fast with three kids, and it’s been a while since my last post.  Since I’ve taken on full-time stay-at-home parenting, I’ve been busy to say the least: diapering, rocking, potty-training, potty-training cleaning, pre-school transporting, and yes, cooking.  I’m always cooking.  I’ve come to really, really appreciate easy recipes like this Soy and Honey Glazed Turbot.

Now that I’m not spending so much time writing and developing meal plans, I’m free to actually use my old ones.  People would frequently ask me if I followed my meal plan and my answer was always, unfortunately not.  The reality was that I was always testing new recipes and figuring out what would be on the next week’s menu.

But now I am liberated!  (Sad as it is to not be writing new plans!)  Now I pick a meal plan, give the shopping list to my husband on the weekend, when he takes our 4 year old out on errands, and follow the plans that I took so much time to produce for others in the past.  I am happy to report that they’re pretty darn nice to have around.  Fantastic, actually, not to pat my own back or anything.

Over the past few years I’ve written literally hundreds of recipes.  Some were really great, but I only made once or twice (others were not so good, but I didn’t use those in my plans!).  So in using my old meal plans I’m rediscovering some of those recipes.  This Soy and Honey Glazed Turbot is one that I hadn’t made in at least a year [...]

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples Braised Red Cabbage with Apples

If you’re looking for a new vegetable dish to try  tonight I highly recommend this Braised Red Cabbage with Apples.  Here is why:

  • It’s super easy, taking only about 10 minutes to throw together
  • It’s pretty hard to screw up
  • It tastes kind of like a candied version of a vegetable, making it easy to palate for non-veggie lovers, and a treat for veggie regulars
  • The health benefits are through the roof, yo
  • It pairs really well with mashed sweet potatoes, which are also super easy, and just about any protein you want to throw together

While “cabbage” has a pretty boring and bland reputation (one that may or may not be justified depending on the dish), red cabbage is its sexy cousin.  Not only is it glamorous in color, but it cooks down to be wonderfully sweet when paired with apples, and its health benefits are sky high.

What health benefits, you ask?  Well, pretty much any vegetable in the cabbage family has anti-cancer properties thanks to its sulfur-based glucosinolates.  From whfoods.org; glucosinolates “are cabbage’s trump card with regard to “anti-cancer” benefits. The glucosinolates found in cabbage can be converted into isothiocyanate compounds that are cancer preventive for a variety of different cancers, including bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.”

But red cabbage is also especially high in antioxidants thanks to its deep red, actually purple, color.  Here’s another little snippet from whfoods.org:

“A recent study showed that a 100 gram (about 3 ounces) serving of raw red cabbage delivers 196.5 milligrams of polyphenols, of which 28.3 milligrams are anthocyanins. Green cabbages yielded much less per 100 grams: 45 milligrams of [...]

Meal Plan Archives Available

Eat Happy Meal Plan Archives are Now Available Eat Happy Meal Plan Archives are Now Available

Over the past several years I’ve written nearly two hundred weekly dinner meal plans for Eat Happy Meal Plan.  I’ve enjoyed writing and testing the recipes, (several of which are now published in my first book).   Having the weekly plan to send out always kept me on my toes – it forced me to try new things as well as strive to make meals as quick and easy as possible while keeping them delicious and nutrient dense.  And I was always so thrilled to hear subscribers say that they loved the food, were cooking more, and feeling better as a result.

So it’s a little sad to announce that I won’t be writing any new meal plans for at least a year or two.  With my three kids and a recent child care change, I just don’t have the time to devote to the weekly meal plans.  It was really sad to read the emails from subscribers saying how disappointed they were!

However, some of those same subscribers suggested that they’d appreciate access to archived meal plans. So, I’ve gone ahead and made a full  year of archives available on Google Drive.

If you’re interested in a year of delicious, nutrient-dense meal plans, I’m making them available for a good discount – $70 vs. the regular $90 for the year.  Email me at alissa@eathappynow.com to get access!

By |December 11th, 2014|General, Meal Plan|

Oatmeal Breakfast Bar

Oatmeal Breakfast Bar Oatmeal Breakfast Bar

We have four breakfast eaters in our house, including one toddler and one four-year old, and not everyone is always delighted about the idea of an oatmeal breakfast.  While I’m happy to make other things for breakfast when there’s time, oatmeal is such dependable staple we’ve figured out how to make it stay interesting and attractive…for everyone!

The secret is the Oatmeal Breakfast Bar.  Like a taco bar – but for oatmeal.  A variety of toppings that each person can pick to customize their oatmeal just how they like it.  Even though there may be a large number of toppings at play, more toppings doesn’t necessarily translate into more time or effort if they’re all easily accessible.

This morning I glanced at my counter (picture above), and realized that the number of oatmeal toppings we have on a daily basis is  a little bonkers.  But it’s really ok – I just pop things out of the fridge or cabinet – both of which are within arms’ reach of the counter.

This all evolved quite naturally, thanks to a very picky toddler.  At times the requests get a little obnoxious (syrup and cinnamon on top of the oatmeal – not mixed in, etc).  Even with the super picky requests we’ve managed to keep everyone happy over the years while only cooking one main ingredient: oatmeal.

So here’s what we have going on currently in our “toppings bar”:

  • Cinnamon
  • Raw honey
  • Real maple syrup
  • Raisins
  • Dried cranberries
  • Coconut oil (this really helps the oatmeal stick with you through the morning)
  • Hemp seeds for protein – you could also add any kind of nuts you like
  • Pumpkin seeds – full of protein and minerals, and store easily in the freezer
  • Ground flax seeds – this helps keep [...]

Apple Spice Muffins

Apple Spice Muffins Apple Spice Muffins

I seem to be on a baking kick lately, and these Apple Spice Muffins are my new favorite.  They are seriously so good, I’ve made them four times in the last month.  Just barely sweet, really moist, and very season-appropriate with their flavors of apple, allspice and cinnamon.  They store well, too, and I’ve been making a batch and enjoying them for breakfast for the next day or two.

A tart apple is really important, so make sure you have a Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, or other tart apple.  I made them with Fuji apples and they just weren’t the same, the apple flavor just got lost.  Still tasty, just not fantastic.

I also love and recommend using coconut oil in this recipe.  Not only is it a really great, healthy fat, but the subtle coconut flavor goes nicely with the apple and spices.  I made these muffins once with butter and, again, not as good.  You won’t be able to distinguish a coconut flavor, but it just adds a certain special something to the overall taste.

I make them gluten-free with a flour mix of 1 3/4 cups oat flour and 1/2 cup all-purpose GF flour mix.  But they absolutely do not have to be gluten-free – they are based on a recipe for regular muffins and they’ll work great with whole wheat pastry flour, whole grain spelt flour, or probably just about any flour you like to use.  Muffins in general are versatile and forgiving, making them a great low-stress baking experience.

Here’s the deal with the cinnamon and butter topping: I like how it gives the muffins a little extra richness and flavor, [...]

By |November 13th, 2014|General, Recipes|

Eat Happy the Book: Pre-Orders are Available, with Bonuses!

Eat Happy: Transform Your Health with Foods You Love is available now for pre-order Eat Happy: Transform Your Health with Foods You Love is available now for pre-order

My first book, Eat Happy: Transform Your Health with Foods You Love is now officially available for pre-order here.  And, if you order before 12/1/14 you’ll get some awesome bonuses, including a signed copy, free shipping, and a free month of Eat Happy Meal Plans.  All in plenty of time for the holidays!

If you’re wondering what this book is all about, I’ll try to explain a little more about it.  Basically, after years and years of working with clients to help them find their happiest ways of eating, I’ve come to one big, universal, most-important conclusion.  Yes, each client is unique, and I’ve seen my fair share of food intolerances and/or specific food triggers which make a world of difference to many people.  But that even those individuals still need to learn this most important rule: eat whole foods.

I have seen so many ailments, aches, pains, and discomforts alleviated with a switch to unprocessed foods.  Migraines, joint pain, fatigue, chronic hunger, sugar cravings, heartburn, constipation, IBS, etc etc.

It’s so simple, but in our current food culture – so complicated at the same time.  Truly whole and unprocessed foods are borderline difficult to recognize these days.   What do you buy?  How do you prepare it?  How do you make it taste good and be convenient?  Why is it even important?  This is what Eat Happy is all about!

Real food is so tasty, so simple to prepare, and will make your body feel so vibrant and, for lack of a better term, functional. [...]